New observation formatting tool

As a Mac/Unix user, and as someone who has just gotten started in reporting satobs from a manual / individual observations, properly formatting IOD entries was a challenge.

If you are a PC user, you can use ObsReduce (Molczan) and equally user-friendly IODEntry (Langbroek), but both require access to a Windows PC or an emulator.

We built an online, platform agnostic IOD entry formatting tool at — follow the link to “submit an individual observation” to access the form. React/Javascript source code is here:

You don’t need to submit the results to use the tool - you can copy the formatted IOD from the form and use as you wish, but of course we would appreciate if you would submit your observations :smile:


Responding to user feedback, a direct link to the tool is now available at

Why can’t that tool allow a station # of 9999? I am adding “observational astronomy” to my current “analytical astronomy” and don’t have a unique station # yet. And does the alternative tool allow just one line of observation per entry?

Hey Charles

It does allow a station number of 9999, in fact we encourage that for our “test pilots”. Are you have a problem on your end adding 9999 to the station location field?

I’m not sure what the “alternative tool” you are referring to is?

John - I foolishly followed directions, when you go to:
it says that if you do not have a station # (I don’t) use:

I will finish getting some observations ready to submit here shortly and will try the “single” page.


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You can just use 9999 and change it later once you have a station number and want to submit your observations. It’s just an ascii text string anyway.

That will teach me to NOT follow directions.

I tried to submit two observations but the system does not like the object number or international designator. So I emailed them.

Hi Charles,

Sorry for the confusing instructions. We’ve just removed the IOD field from the location submission form you linked to (The field was left over from before we released the IOD entry form at ). I hope that helps clarify that the location submission form is just so we can have a location to associate with the IOD submissions on the IOD form. We’re actively working on a simpler way to handle locations. Thanks for bearing with us! -Mike

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Thanks! All works as it should now.